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Government schemes to help you buy a home

There are a number of government schemes available to help you buy a home – but which could you be eligible for?

An overview of government schemes to help buy a home

For some people, saving a deposit, securing a mortgage or finding the right home at the right price is such a struggle that they are priced out of buying on the open market. If you’re in this situation, it is worth looking into the Government schemes on offer to help you get on the property ladder.

Help to Buy and London Help to Buy

Through a Help to Buy equity loan, the government will lend you up to 20% of the value of a property in the form of an equity loan – or 40% if you’re in London. You’ll have to find a 5% deposit and secure a mortgage to cover the remaining share of the property.

What you should know about Help to Buy:

  • It covers new build properties valued under £600,000 only
  • It’s open to all potential and existing homeowners
  • There’s no salary cap or joint income limit applied
  • It will run until 2021
  • Between April 2021 and March 2023, Help to Buy will only be available for first-time buyers and regional price caps will apply

Get free advice from London & Country to find out what government scheme might be best for you

Shared Ownership (New Build)

This shared ownership scheme allows you to buy part of a new build property and rent the other part. Over time you can buy more of the property, until you own the whole thing.

Find out more about new build shared ownership

Shared Ownership (Resale)

The shared ownership resale scheme allows you to take over an existing shared ownership property that the current owner has put on the market. Over time you can buy more of the property until you own the whole thing.

Learn more about shared ownership resale

Rent to Buy

You can rent a newly built home with the intention to buy, thanks to this government scheme

See if Rent to Buy is the right scheme for you

Right to Buy

If you live in a council house or flat you may be able to buy your home at a discount under the right to buy scheme. The discount depends on where you live, how long you have lived there and whether you live in a house or flat.

Read more about right to buy

Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme

The Armed Forces Home Ownership pilot scheme (AFHOS) has now closed, and the government recommends considering other schemes outlined above – such as Help to Buy.

HOLD or Home Ownership for people with Long term Disabilities

HOLD is a specially tailored option to assist people with long term disabilities to purchase a home on a shared ownership basis.

Find out more about HOLD

Schemes in Wales and Scotland

There are similar schemes open in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Leave a comment (13)* Required

  1. I meant is there any cash incentives

    Comment by Paul johnson — September 28, 2020 @ 10:29 am

  2. Me and sister live in a council house, is there any incentives if you want to buy a house and leave your council house?

    Comment by Paul johnson — September 27, 2020 @ 3:40 pm

  3. I would love to buy a house in Mossley north England ,I am a father of 2 boys .Me and my wife working ,Imogen 40years old and me 46 our boys 12 and 14 .Our income is about 36 000.

    Comment by Dimitris Laliotis — June 14, 2020 @ 12:50 am

  4. Hello Mary. Check whether you qualify with your local Help to Buy agent. If you live in London, you will need to contact the Mayor of London’s first steps to home ownership website Homes for Londoners.

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — October 24, 2019 @ 10:51 am

  5. I will like to find out if I could get any assistance on rent to buy scheme. Working 35hrs weekly , wages between £1000_1200 monthly. I live in Birmingham I paid rent now monthly £600. Looking forward to your reply.

    Comment by Mary F Aluko — October 23, 2019 @ 1:00 pm

  6. Hi Paul – Have you considered the help to buy scheme for new build properties? https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/help-to-buy/

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — October 4, 2019 @ 6:40 pm

  7. Any ideas we are hoping to buy a small 2 bed house with my savings , and giving our council house back which we could have bought ,is there any financial help towards the house ?

    Comment by Paul Johnson — October 3, 2019 @ 6:46 pm

  8. Dear Richard – . I would suggest you initially contact the the local rent to buy agent as there are lots of exceptions as to who can apply https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/find-helptobuy-agent/?_ga=2.97469023.1384895673.1564042369-1274246303.1538390146

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — July 25, 2019 @ 10:17 am

  9. If I am working in another country can I apply for a Morgage rent to buy with the government is that possible any information you have will be greatly appreciated kind regards

    Comment by Richard hunt — July 24, 2019 @ 10:36 pm

  10. i am looking for a home ,i am a first time buyers.where can i apply.thank you so much

    Comment by monika hoxha — March 30, 2014 @ 5:01 am

  11. Thanks a lot for this article! You always provide us with very useful information. We used Help to Buy scheme with my husband as we were first-time buyers. It’s really helpful. This government scheme means you can move into your new home with a deposit as low as 5%. There are some criteria people need to consider before applying but I think everyone who applies is al least 18 years old) If you don’t already own a home you can apply to this program. You should always show that you are not in mortgage or rent arrears as it is not acceptable. Applicants need to have good credit history to demonstrate that they can afford regular payments.

    Comment by Brittany — February 20, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  12. My husband and I own our 3 bed semi out right, but we both have disabilities and would like to move to a bungalow , is there any help for us , possibly our house would fetch approx 135000 most bungalows we like or would benefit us cost anything from 150000. – 160000 .

    Comment by Annette sinclair — February 19, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  13. Hi. We are wanting to buy on the rent to buy scheme but aren’t sure where to go or what the requirements are. Please can you advise us where to go & what to do.
    Yours truly,
    Andrew Gray.

    Comment by Andrew Gray — February 8, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

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